Jerusalem artichoke soup with steamed blue mussels

Jerusalem artichoke soup with steamed blue mussels :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

It’s that time of year again. The light is slowly returning.

And even if we didn’t have much of a winter here in the western parts of Sweden it is starting to feel a bit like spring. It’s getting lighter each day and on my morning jogs lately I’ve been hearing the birds sing. And another sure sign that spring is on its way is the awakening of overwintered pelargoniums.

I know, it is still winter. Even if many of us (including me) are eager for spring.

But the signs are there. Little by little every day.

Pelargonium :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's KitchenStill life :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

This is also the best time of year to eat mussels. Many people think of mussels and other shellfish as summer food, but in fact they are at its very best from december-april. In Scandinavia anyway.

So we’ve had mussels. And I’ve been pruning pelargoniums.

Jerusalem artichoke soup with steamed blue mussels :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Mussels are wonderful paired with Jerusalem artichokes – also called sun chokes (in Swedish jordärtskocka) – and I often make this smooth soup with Jerusalem artichokes and a hint of white wine to go with steamed mussels. It’s delicious. You should try!

Need I say this is perfect for a friday night?

What’s your favorite way to eat mussels?


Utskriftsvänligt recept
Printable recipe

Steamed blue mussels

serves 4

2 pounds (about 1 kg) blue mussels
2 2/3 cup (400 ml) water

1) First prepare the mussels. Scrub each mussel individually and check to make sure their shells are tightly closed. Discard mussels with cracked shells. If any mussels are open, tap them gently against the counter and discard any mussels that don’t close up within a few minutes. Debeard the mussels by pinching the “beard” between your thumb and first finger. Use a side to side motion and firmly tug the beard out. The beard isn’t harmful or inedible so don’t worry if there are a few little threads left that you can’t grasp.
2) In a large pot bring the water to a boil and then gently add the mussels. Cover and cook over medium high heat until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Reserve the liquid and keep the mussels in the pot with lid on.

Jerusalem artichokes & blue mussels :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Jerusalem artichoke soup

1 pound (about 500 g) Jerusalem artichokes
1 onion
1 small leek
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp olive oil
reserved liquid from mussels + 2 cups (about 500 ml) vegetable stock
6 tbsp white wine
6 tbsp cream
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt & white pepper to taste
fresh thyme

1) Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and cut them into smaller chunks. To prevent from darkening drop the pieces into lemon- or vinegar water while peeling the remaining Jerusalem artichokes. Peel and chop the onion, leek and garlic clove finely.
2) In a medium pot, melt the butter/olive oil over medium heat. Add the jerusalem artichokes, onion, leek and garlic. Cook on medium low heat for about 5-7 minutes until slightly softened (do not brown). Add the reserved mussel liquid, vegetable stock and wine. Bring to a boil, cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cream and simmer for 5 more minutes.
3) Add the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and puree the soup in a blender.

Serve the Jerusalem artichoke soup with the mussels and sprinkle with fresh thyme.

Jerusalem artichoke soup with steamed blue mussels :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Vilda ätbara örter och växter, matfoto & matstyling – workshop i Göteborg 24/5 2014 :: A food photography & food styling workshop

A foraging, food styling and food photography workshop :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

* This workshops is sold out! *

Hello! I am so excited to announce this workshop that I have been working on for a while. This will be my only class this spring and I hope to see some of you there! It will be held in Swedish – hence the info below in Swedish. But please don’t hesitate to contact me should you be interested in participating anyway!

I am teaming up with Klara Hansson for this workshop and she will be our guide on a foraging tour where we will gather wild edible greens to accompany our meal and to use for styling during the day. The workshop will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden on May 24.

* Platserna till workshopen är slutsålda! *

Det känns fantastiskt kul att äntligen kunna öppna anmälan för den här workshopen som jag jobbat på ett tag! Det här blir min enda workshop i vår och jag har gått ihop med Klara Hansson för att vi skall få lära oss mer om vilda ätbara örter och växter.

Vi börjar dagen med en vandring tillsammans med Klara som guidar oss i hur man hittar ätbara vilda växter i trädgården, skogen och vid havet. Sedan fortsätter vi dagen med att styla och fota en trerätters lunch som vi äter tillsammans – en rätt i taget. Det vi hittar i naturen under vår promenad använder vi som komplement till vår meny och förstås till att styla maten med.

Det kommer att bli en dag fylld av inspiration och ny kunskap, härligt försommarljus i en inspirerande miljö, styling- och fototips samt massor av vacker och fräsch säsongsmat att fota – och äta.

Jag hoppas du kan komma!

Buckwheat salad with wood sorrel and radishes :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Plats & Tid
Workshopen kommer att hållas i GöteborgTandkullegatan 40, Västra Frölunda – den 24/5 klockan 10-17. Du tar dig enkelt hit med spårvagn nummer 11 eller med bil.

Pris: 2 700 sek (inkl. moms) – fika, guidning med Klara, trerätters lunch och kursmaterial ingår.

Vi kommer bland annat att gå igenom
• Hur man skapar kreativa, enkla, tilltalande och vackra maträtter och stilleben av säsongens råvaror
• Naturligt ljus – hur använder man det på bästa sätt?
• Tips och tricks kring styling av matbilder – komposition, färg och textur m.m.
• Kamerainställningar, vinklar, utrustning m.m.
• Efterbehandling (Lightroom, Photoshop)

Förkunskaper och mål
Workshopen riktar sig till dig som har ett stort intresse för mat och att fotografera den. Du vill utvecklas i att använda naturligt (befintligt) ljus och rekvisita för att på ett enkelt sätt kunna fota mat hemma. Egen kamera (helst SLR) samt baskunskaper om den krävs för att kunna hänga med i tempot. Du behöver alltså förstå hur ISO, bländare och slutare fungerar och påverkar varandra.

Gör så här för att anmäla dig
Mejla din anmälan till sonja@dagmarskitchen.se eller ring på +46(0)705 505 501. Ange ditt fullständiga namn samt postadress och telefonnummer.

Max antal deltagare är åtta personer.

Villkor för anmälan
En anmälningsavgift om 30% av den totala kursavgiften tas ut vid anmälningstillfället (faktura 10 dagar). Anmälningsavgiften är “ej återbetalningsbar” – men den kan (om du skulle återta din anmälan) fortfarande användas som delbetalning vid ett senare kurstillfälle.

Resterande belopp skall vara inbetalt senast 5 dagar innan kurstillfället. Detta belopp återbetalas endast vid sjukdom (läkarintyg). För avbokning (som ej beror på sjukdom) mindre än tre veckor före kursstart debiteras halva kursavgiften. För avbokning (som ej beror på sjukdom) mindre än en vecka före kursstart debiteras hela kursavgiften.

Om Dagmar’s Kitchen (Sonja Dahlgren) av någon anledning skulle bli tvungen att ställa in workshopen (allvarlig sjukdom, familjeangelägenhet etc.) återbetalas hela det redan inbetalade beloppet inklusive anmälningsavgiften.

Vid färre än fem anmälda förbehåller Dagmar’s Kitchen sig rätten att ställa in workshopen och återbetalar i så fall hela det redan inbetalade beloppet inklusive anmälningsavgiften.

Varmt välkommen med din anmälan!

Buckwheat salad with wood sorrel and radishes :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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A Vegetable Literacy lunch – Radicchio salad with walnut vinaigrette and toasted bread crumbs

Radicchio salad with walnut vinaigrette and toasted bread crumbs :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I love cookbooks. And I have tons. And even if it’s not entirely true, I hardly ever read them. And I hardly ever use a recipe. I just look at the pictures.

And I get inspired to cook.

But there is one book I tend to return to over and over again. Not so often to actually use a recipe, but to seek inspiration on how to combine and how to flavor vegetables. The book Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison is an endless source of inspiration to me, and I absolutely love it.

Radicchio salad with walnut vinaigrette and toasted bread crumbs :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

And this is just a quick post to share a recipe from the book.

One that I made for lunch today.

Its is simple. So simple. But I thought I’d share it with you anyway since I believe we sometimes need to be inspired to make those effortless, simple meals.

And to never underestimate the quality of simple foods.

The recipe is straight from the book. I just added a few roughly chopped walnuts and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup for sweetness.

I hope you like it as much as I do!

What’s your favorite cookbook – if you could only choose one? I’d love to know.

Radicchio salad with walnut vinaigrette and toasted bread crumbs

serves 2 or 4

1 head Chioggia radicchio
1 egg, hard cooked
2 tbsp chopped parsley
sea salt
fresh bread crumbs crisped in olive oil and roughly chopped walnuts to finish
a tiny drizzle of maple syrup (optional)

Walnut-shallot vinaigrette

makes about 1/3 cup

1 large shallot, finely diced
sea salt
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
3 tbsp walnut oil

1) Combine the shallot, salt and vinegar for the vinaigrette in a bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Then whisk in the mustard and walnut oil. If the vinaigrette is too sharp, whisk in a little more oil.
2) Quarter the radicchio head through the stem end, then slice the quarters very thinly crosswise.
3) Peel the egg and chop the white and yolk.
4) Toss the radicchio with the vinaigrette and the parsley. Arrange the radicchio on individual plates. Top with the chopped egg, bread crumbs and walnuts and serve.

Radicchio salad with walnut vinaigrette and toasted bread crumbs :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Blackberry financiers and A save-the-date note

Blackberry financiers :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

First of all I am so excited to announce a save-the-date for an upcoming food photography workshop that I have been working on for a while. This will be my only class this spring and I hope to see some of you there! It will be held in Swedish – so this note is mostly for my Swedish speaking readers. But please keep on reading for a recipe further down…

The workshop is going to be super interesting for those of you who love food, food photography and food styling and are interested in learning more about the areas of foraging and wild foods.

I am teaming up with Klara Hansson at Stadsssallad for this workshop and she will be our guide on a foraging tour where we will gather wild edible greens to accompany our meal and to use for styling during the day. The workshop will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden on May 24. More info to come shortly!

Blackberry financiers :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

And I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am for another reason, and that is the fact that I have signed up for a 3-days’ workshop in Paris with one of my favorite food stylists/photographers – Béatrice Peltré of La Tartine Gourmande. When I first started taking pictures of food, Béa was one of my biggest sources of inspiration (she still is!) and I have been wanting for quite some time now to attend one of her workshops.

And now was the time for me…

So you can be sure that I will return filled with inspiration, new tools and fresh ideas for my May workshop here in Gothenburg.

Blackberry financiers :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Béas post also reminded me that I still had a bunch of frozen blackberries from the garden in the freezer and I instantly felt an urge to bake something with them. This adapted recipe of the classic French financiers is one of my go-to recipes when I feel like baking.

I can’t tell you how much I love the combo of browned butter and almond flour… And I’ve also replaced some of the sugar with coconut sugar, which makes them less sweet and won’t make your blood sugar rush as fast as with traditional ones. You can use any berries or fruit that are in season (or use frozen) – but I love blackberries or raspberries for this recipe.


Utskriftsvänligt recept
Printable recipe

Blackberry financiers (gluten free)

makes about 12

7 tbsp (100 g) unsalted butter + more for greasing
1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out

2/3 cup (90 g) almond flour
6 tbsp brown rice flour
3 tbsp raw cane sugar
3 tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

4 egg whites

blackberries or other berries

1) Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F). Melt a small amount butter over low heat and brush your financier tins with a thin layer. Set aside.
2) In a small pot melt the butter over medium heat until it turns light brown in color and begins to smell nutty. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla seeds (and bean) and let rest for 10 minutes.
3) In a small bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks starts to form.
4) Remove the vanilla bean from the browned butter and combine the butter with the dry ingredients. Stir until well blended, then gently fold in the egg whites using a spatula until no white streaks remain.
5) Divide the batter among the financier tins, place the berries on top and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes – until golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Blackberries :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Bergamot syrup

Bergamot syrup :: Photographed and styled by Sonja DahlgrenBergamot fruits :: Photographed and styled by Sonja Dahlgren

There are certain things I simply can’t resist. Among them many unusual seasonal delicacies.

Bergamot fruit. Just say it. It almost sounds like music. And it looks like sunshine in the midst of winter.

Bergamot is a fragrant fruit the size of a small orange, with a yellow/orange colour. The juice tastes less sour than lemon, but even more bitter than grapefruit. Imagine that!

Have you ever tasted a bergamot?

Bergamot fruits :: Photographed and styled by Sonja Dahlgren

Of course they don’t grow up here in the cold North, but at this time of year you can order them from Årstiderna – an organic to-your-door service which I use all year round. Årstiderna imports their bergamot from Morocco, and like all of their fruit it is organically grown. Get them from there or keep an eye open for them on your next trip to your farmer’s market or local store.

And although the bergamot has an intense acidity, are terribly quite tart in flavour and nobody in our house eats them “au naturel” (I don’t think anyone does actually) I couldn’t resist buying them.

After all they are a rare seasonal delicacy.

I bought two kilos. And I did have a plan for them. Last year I made bergamot marmalade, but this time I was planning to use some of them for our regular morning juices that we make in our juicer. And mixed with other fruits and vegetables they are great! But for the main part of my two kilos I had other plans.

Bergamot fruits :: Photographed and styled by Sonja DahlgrenBergamot fruits :: Photographed and styled by Sonja Dahlgren

I wanted to use a lot of the rind, since that is where most of the flavour sits. And if you’ve ever wondered what that unusual ingredient in your cup of Earl Grey tea was – that’s bergamot essential oil extracted from the rind.

And after some thinking I decided to make a syrup for use in tea, pancakes and desserts. And I am already in love with it.

My initial plan was to use honey, but after all it doesn’t make a syrup “healthier” just by using honey. And when heating honey, most of the nutritional benefits and healthful compounds are destroyed anyway. So I made the syrup using raw cane sugar. But you could probably use e.g. agave syrup if you’d like to make it somewhat healthier.

Either way it is delicious and really simple to make!

And if you don’t have any bergamot at hand I can imagine it would be lovely to make a similar syrup of any citrus fruit.

……..
Utskriftsvänligt recept
Printable recipe
……..

Bergamot syrup

makes about 1 cup

6 bergamot fruits – juice and zest
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
1/2 cup water

1) Wash, zest, and juice the bergamots. Strain the juice and set aside.
2) Combine sugar, water and bergamot zest in a medium, heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until thickened and reduced to about half. This takes about 15-20 minutes.
3) Remove from heat, skim any foam, and strain out the zest. Allow to cool and once cooled stir in the bergamot juice. Transfer to a bottle or jar and store in the fridge.

TIPS! Use for tea, pancakes, desserts or even in a salad dressing. You can also use the syrup with ice and sparkling water for a refreshing drink.

Bergamot fruits :: Photographed and styled by Sonja DahlgrenBergamot syrup :: Photographed and styled by Sonja Dahlgren

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